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review 2018-02-25 17:48
All about Unruly Women
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman - Anne Helen Petersen

This one is hard to review. It is divided into 10 sections, each naming a typical gender "problem" (like "too loud") and a famous woman representing someone who gets called out for that "problem" in the media and culture. Add opening and closing chapters that highlight the sometimes-trouble women who refuse to stay in the box cause for everyone, including many other women. Some are much better than others. I also found some things just missing, most importantly "too intelligent." In fact, the whole thing is much too centered on body issues and I find that there are at least as many stereotypical "problems" in the intellectual area. Part of the reason may, in fact, be the author's age (young) and her pop-culture background (she's a BuzzFeed writer.) As I said, within those ten chapters many only look at the issue in terms of women's bodies, and of course our bodies get attention in all of the chapters. I would have liked to see more about our minds or even better -- the way attention to our bodies gets in the way of realistic evaluation of our minds. That last one is a big quibble for me, but putting that aside there were some excellent chapters in this book.


Aside: I started to take notes on this book during the introduction, and I needed a title for said notes, so without much thought I quickly called it "too female." I wasn't trying to be clever, but by the end of the book, I realized my shortcut was precise. We are problematic because of our gender. This is a terrifying thought. More terrifying is the many women who are quick to force any of us back into our boxes when we get TOO anything (unruly is the word chosen for this,) and this book shows us ten stereotyped gender "norms" broken and ten women who have paid the price for breaking them at the same time they are celebrated for doing exactly that. In other words, we can't win? It shows us how each woman at times has sought the easier way by crawling back into the box, being a "good girl" and in turn getting praise and relief. How very sad for humanity that culture can only handle us when we're acting a certain way -- unobtrusive and obedient.

My favorite chapters were Too Loud: Jennifer Weiner and Too Strong: Serena Williams. Both chapters could be spun off into books of their own. Not necessarily all about those two women, but those two gendered "problems" for men, with the "too loud" chapter focusing on all women (Serena Williams has been called out for being too loud many times and in many ways) and a particular focus on the way society looks at black female bodies when they are "too strong." The dichotomy there is inane -- we have made magical negroes of many strong black women (SBWs, as we say in my house,) yet we don't want these women to be *too* strong. These two chapters alone are worth the whole book.

Other chapters I liked were Too Fat: Melissa McCarthy, Too Gross: Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer, and Too Slutty: Nicki Minaj. The Minaj chapter interested me because I know very little about Nicki Minaj beyond her music, so I was rather fascinated to hear of all the trouble she's gotten for her disobedience in terms of being taken seriously as an artist, hard worker and anything more than a sex symbol. It was troubling. If we're supposed to be sexy as women, there certainly is a point where too sexy is a very big problem for everyone, again -- including women.

Same things can be said for Too Fat (and I'd add Too Thin there as well) as well as Too Gross. Every single woman knows what it is to have a vagina. Most men have dealt with at least one of those if not more, so why on earth must we pretend that they don't exist? Why do we have to pretend they don't do what they do? Why do women pretend not to pass gas or relieve themselves? Why did I just type that phrase instead of "fart and shit?" All questions brought to a head in the Too Gross chapter. Most interesting there was the added layer of discomfort from women about a show where two women were friends without men somehow coming in to take precedence over the women. When it was being shopped, a woman actually didn't understand the concept and asked "why would anyone watch this? Are they going to get married?" How freaking scary!

 

Since I first wrote this last week, I've thought about the Too Fat chapter a bit. I think maybe McCarthy wasn't the right choice. She has not been unruly in any way beyond her weight. She has, the chapter points out, been quick to tame herself in myriad ways. So perhaps someone like Roxane Gay, Lindy West or another woman from the Fat Positive world would have been a better choice.

I could go on about any of the chapters mentioned above. They call into sharp focus the issues society slaps women down for again and again, and the careful way in which every woman sometimes has to side-step to get around her own personality, so she can continue to do what she loves.

More disappointing were Too Old: Madonna, which wasn't really about ageism more about Madonna trying to outrun her own age. I felt something akin to real snark in this chapter and thought it was an instance of a woman slapping down another woman for being the way she is. Why not simply find a woman that society has bucked because she got too old rather than pile on to the already large pile atop Madonna? Perhaps, again, this was the writer's age getting in the way of real understanding about aging as a woman in today's culture?

Also somewhat redundant to things already said and shown better were Too Pregnant: Kim Kardashian and Too Naked: Lena Dunham. Too Pregnant is most a rehash of Too Gross with a different person and Too Naked could be summed up by stating "Nudity is fine, so long as the men decide who gets nude in public." She tries to make some statements about nudity vs nakedness (and she puts this down to "body type" Dunham is naked b/c she's not shaped like nude people? How is that feminist or body positive?) She goes on the long thing that any woman knows: only recently in history and in the West have we decided thin is in, but it loses credibility pretty fast with me. None of it is wrong. All of it feels super-redundant after all the other body chapters we've had. We had too gross, too old, too fat...

Then we have just plain disappointing chapters: Too Queer: Caitlyn Jenner and Too Shrill: Hillary Clinton. The Clinton chapter was disappointing because it left out far too much and didn't feel like it encapsulated the actual issues with Hillary Clinton. Too Shrill is often the word used for intelligence or anger or a variety of other adjectives. She's certainly the best example of Too Shrill, but something was lacking here. It's a book-sized important problem, so maybe a single chapter was bound to leave something to be desired.

 

Too Queer was odd because why pick Caitlyn Jenner? Also because she picked Caitlyn Jenner, the only real point made was if you're already in a dominant, privileged position (rich, white, male) then you stay dominant and can miss a lot of the issues even after you've entered another position. OK, but certainly there are women who are called Too Queer and even some women who are queer who have done a lot to try to distract us from that. Caitlyn Jenner has not been smacked down in the way any of the other women in this book have. In fact, it seems almost the opposite, so why pick her? 

All in all though, I liked this book. When it was good, it was very very good ;) It was interesting and thought-provoking, and it may get a larger audience because of the pop culture slant it's taken on these issues. She points to real problems in every chapter, whether they were better or worse, and it could serve as a starting point for many people, male and female, who don't realize how society wants women to stay quiet and obedient and pretty and nice. All in all a worthwhile read.

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review 2018-02-14 19:24
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
Class Mom: A Novel - Laurie Gelman

“Just because they think you’re crazy it doesn’t mean you’re nuts. Put that on my gravestone.”

 

Lots of books claim to be funny and they are not. This book is funny. It is so funny. I was never bored and only vaguely annoyed at a few things but it mostly made me happy to be listening to it. This won’t be much of a review because I just enjoyed it. I didn’t take any notes and there isn’t much here to dissect.

 

In all honesty, this book could’ve gone either way for me. What most people find “hilarious” or “rip-roaring” (what’s that mean, anyway?), I find annoying or boring. My humor, I guess, runs more to the snarky and the sarcastic but it has to be done just right. There really isn’t any pleasing me which is why I usually read horror. It rarely tries to make me laugh (with the exception of Jeff Strand who is full of excellent snark).  This book is also loaded with excellent snark. You might hate it. Don’t blame me. My tastes are weird. I’ll own that.

 

My kids are no longer in grade school but when they were the whole PTA/class mom thing was something I avoided at all costs. Nothing against those who volunteer their time but it wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t up for volunteering unless I was forced to and I also wasn’t up to dealing with the cliques and back-biting that comes with that sort of thing. Don’t even ask me about being a dance mom . . .  Ugh, so glad those days are behind me. Anyway, so why did I pick up a book called “Class Mom” which is so obviously about all of those things?

 

I haven’t a clue but I’m glad I did.

 

Jen is an ex-groupie who gave birth to two daughters who are now in college. She’s unsure who their dad(s) are but she doesn’t really care. Might be that lead singer from INXS. Might not be. It matters not now that she’s settled down and married to a lovely man who loves her snark and all. They had a boy named Max and he’s now in kindergarten and even though she’s the “most marinated” of the group of young parents, she volunteers to do the whole class mom routine all over again. She starts off the year by sending off a hilariously snarky and inappropriate email to the parents telling them what she expects of them throughout the year. She pisses off several of them but who cares? She’s been through this before and she doesn’t seem to care too much about making friends with all of them.

 

I love her attitude even if she sometimes goes too far for a laugh. The book continues in this vein, insulting the parents and learning their weaknesses and it was amusing. I’ll admit that this humor isn’t for everyone. You kind of have to take a Joe Lansdale approach to the humor and know that everyone and everything is a target and there are moments that aren’t at all politically correct.  She is offensive and clueless about it and she does put off people because of it. Be warned.

 

The one thing that I did not enjoy was a plot bit that goes on for eons where she starts texting one of the dads who is also an old high school crush she dubs “Such A Fox”. She was a foolish woman, no doubt,  but this made her come across as pretty dumb, if you ask me.

 

There isn’t really a plot here. She makes friends, she makes enemies, she pisses many people off, has that stupid flirt-mance and tries to figure out why Max’s sexy young teacher keeps disappearing. It’s light and fluffy and worth a listen if you can shrug off the insulting humor moments.

 

I listened to audio which was narrated by the author who stumbles a bit here and there but mostly does a fantastic job.

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text 2018-01-23 10:19
Solve 9th Class Maths & Physics Problems at Shiksha Abhiyan

You sat down with full concentration to complete solving that Mathematics chapter but left all in vain when you got fussed up with the most important question of the chapter and all your enthusiasm was out of order. That is where our round the clock 9th class Maths solutions come into the picture. Our round the clock online video lessons will make your learning easier, faster and more efficient.

 

When you could study at flexible hours in the comfort of your home, your concentration and efficiency will increase. Through CBSE class 9 Maths videos, when there is no delay in detecting the problem and their solution, you would not want to leave that most important question unattended again. With quality lessons available, you would want to learn more and more with step wise increase in complexity of your topics because, at Shiksha Abhiyan, curiosity will never kill the cat.

 

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review 2018-01-18 19:57
Avery
Avery (Working Class Beauties Book 1) - J. Haney,S.I. Hayes

Title: Avery
Author: J. Haney & S. I. Hayes
Publisher: J.H.& S.I.H.
Series: Working Class Beauties Book 1
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Avery" by J. Haney& S.I. Hayes

My Thoughts....

These two author come together and gives the reader truly one well written read. You will find so many emotions that will simply take one over the edge. Yes you will find Avery being a wild girl and a boy [Greyson] who has loved her since the age of five. What will happen as they finally come together as adults and realize there is more for them? Be ready for lost of surprises that will keep popping up that will keep you turning the pages until the end. This is truly one of those stories that you will not be able to judge the book by the cover until you have read it all to see what all is there. Would I recommend? YES!

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text 2018-01-15 11:20
Benefits of NCERT Math Solution

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It is very difficult to understand the solution from the physical book; hence Shiksha Abhiyan provides video lectures for class 10th.  As we all know highest buildings have the strongest foundations similarly NCERT study material provides that strong foundation for better preparation. It makes you competitive on a global level. The Books published by NCERT are prescribed by CBSE. The NCERT study materials highly beneficial for students. Keeping in mind the requirements and difficulties faced by students, Shiksha Abhiyan is very successful in providing a complete solution.

 

The website www.shikshaabhiyan.com provides simple and easy to understand lectures which make the basic concepts easy to grasp for the students.  Their mentors and guides assist the students in order to provide quality education. At Shiksha Abhiyan, you will get online coaching, live classes, 9 and 10 class maths NCERT solutions and much more. All the study material is based on high education standards and you can identify your true potential through NCERT math solution. The best part is one can get the session in multiple languages. So, what are you waiting for? Avail quality video lectures here.

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